LUANG PRABANG – VIENTIANE CAPITAL – PAKSE – CHAMPASAK – BOLEVAN PLATEAU
TOUR CODE: LAO5
Day 1: Luang Prabang welcomes you
Day 2: Luang Prabang, City Tour & Pak Ou Caves
Day 3: Luang Prabang, City Tour & Khouangsi waterfalls
Day 4: Luang Prabang – Vientiane (Flight)
Day 5: Vientiane – Pakse (Flight) – Champasak/Done Daeng Island
Day 6: Full-day tour of Bolevan Plateau
Day 7: Full-day tour of 4,000-island region
Day 8: Champasak – Pakse – Departure
Day 1: Luang Prabang welcomes you
Day 2: Luang Prabang, City Tour & Pak Ou cave (B)
Today, we enjoy a short guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temples of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as well as exploring the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims. Along the way, we will stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local rice wine is produced. On return, we take a short drive to another small village Ban Phanom, which is famous for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 3: Luang Prabang, City Tour & Khouangsi waterfalls (B)
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (often in the form of sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the ritual.
After breakfast, we visit the National Museum (closed Tuesdays) at the former Royal Palace. It displays a collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. There will also be time for us to look around the Central Market. We then continue towards Khouangsi Waterfall, en route, we visit the local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Ban Ou, Laoloum and Ban Thapene, and then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall. Here you can take a dip in the inviting pools or walk along the forest trails surrounding the waterfall. We return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for silk hand weaving and for traditional Saa Paper making. Overnight in Luang Prabang (Breakfast)
Day 4: Luang Prabang – Vientiane (Flight) (B)
After breakfast, we take our morning flight to Vientiane.
On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After the hotel checking in (depending on room availability), we explore Vientiane capital by visiting the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. En route to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 5: Vientiane – Pakse (Flight) – Champasak/Done Daeng Island (B)
This morning we take our short flight to flight to Pakse. On arrival in Pakse, we drive south to Champassak and to visit the fascinating pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia’s most dramatically situated temples. We have time to explore these intriguing Khmer ruins, which are perched at the base of Mount Phu Kao. Overnight in Champasak / Done Daeng Island.
Day 6: Full-day tour of Bolevan Plateau (B)
This morning we leave early and drive north to the Bolaven Plateau. The Bolaven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. Our first stop is to visit Ban Lak Sipkao, a village specializing in knife making. We then stop tea plantation, followed by a stop at Tad Fan Waterfall, a picturesque twin chute waterfall. We then make a stop at a coffee plantation, en route to Tha Teng Market, a colorful ethnic minority food market. Next, we explore a couple of fascinating minority villages, Ban Pong Neua, an Alak village that boasts a sacrificial altar, and Ban Kokphung, a Katu village where they keep coffins under their houses. We also make a stop at the beautiful Tadlo Waterfall, then head back to the hotel. We arrive at Champasak/Donedaeng by early evening. Overnight in Champasak / Done Daeng Island.
Day 7: Full-day tour of 4,000-island region (B)
After early morning breakfast, we cross over to the mainland and drive south to Ban Hatsaikhoune, where we board a local private boat for a boat tour of the 4000 Islands. We reach the picturesque island of Don Khone by lunchtime, and in the afternoon explore the island by bicycle or Tuk Tuk or Walking, tracing the route of an old abandoned railway and admiring some of the old French Colonial buildings, and the beautiful Liphi Waterfall. We then return to our boat and head back to the mainland, visiting the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia. In the late afternoon, we drive back to Champasak/Don Daeng, arriving there by early evening. Overnight in Champasak / Done Daeng Island.
Day 8: Champasak – Pakse - Departure (B)
Depending on your departure flight, you may have free time at leisure, before crossing back to the mainland by boat, then onto Pakse by car to the airport for your departure flight.
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